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US architecture growth slows

US architecture workloads have risen for an eighth successive month – but the pace of growth has slowed

The American Institute of Architects’ closely watched Architecture Billings Index posted a score of 51.9 for March 2013.

This was above the critical 50 mark that represents parity with the previous month. But it was down from a greater growth rate of 54.9 in February.

The new projects inquiry index – a valuable barometer of likely future work – was also down, from 64.8 to a still healthy 60.1.

Building design workloads have now been growing since August 2012, as the US construction sector leaves Europe’s in its wake. 

‘Business conditions in the construction industry have generally been improving over the last several months,’ said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. 

‘But as we have continued to report, the recovery has been uneven across the major construction sectors so it’s not a big surprise that there was some easing in the pace of growth in March compared to previous months.”

The multi-family residential sector led the way in March, with a score of 56.9, although this was lower than in February.

Commercial and industrial work (53.5) and mixed practice projects (53.3) also grew. Institutional work was only up slightly with a reading of 50.6.

All regions showed growth from the previous month – the Northeast at 54.6, the Midwest at 53.9, the South at 53.6 and the West with 51.9.

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